Omar Sosa & NDR Band
Omar Sosa is a Cuban pianist, composer, and bandleader. During his formative years in Cuba, he started out on the marimba (a percussion instrument similar to a xylophone but with lower, more-resonant tones) at age eight. He moved to the piano and studied at Escuela Nacional de Musica in Havana. His musical journey took him first to Ecuador, then later to San Francisco, where he settled into the California Latin jazz scene.
Collaborating with a host of musicians like John Santos, Oaktown Irawo, Carlos "Patato" Valdes, and Pancho Quinto, among others, he’s become known for his melding of influences, using elements of avant-garde improv, music from the African diaspora, Latin jazz, and classical.
He’s a prolific artist who released two albums last year alone: Es: Sensual and Aguas. Latin Jazz Network chose the former as its Editor’s Pick, calling Sosa, “ an uncompromising master musician, who is changing the music he was born to play with genius and a powerful spirit.”
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